Sunday, January 25, 2009

Throwing It Away In Rome

This is a sign attached to the wall of a building
between Piazza Navona and Largo Argentina.

By order of the Most Reverend Monsignor, President of the Streets (probably referring to Pope Clement XIII):
For everyone, rich or poor, it is forbidden to throw out (or to direct someone else to throw out) any kind of garbage on this site. Most of all, it is forbidden to make this place a dump. If you make this place a dump, you will be fined 15 scudi for each offense. The Monsignor has the discretion to impose a more serious penalty.
Under the authority of the law, August 30, 1765.

Garbage has always been a problem in cities. Near this sign you can find one of the many trash receptacles that are throughout Rome.

"Taking the trash out" at home means taking our garbage outside to a designated location in the neighborhood. In our condominium of 60 apartments the only trash containers are in our individual apartments. There are no communal trash cans for our buildings. We must go outside the complex and go around the corner. There are white bins for paper and cardboard, blue bins for plastic and glass and green bins for everything else. All Romans are serious about sorting the trash. They know that there is a long tradition of garbage disposal regulations that are enforced by "the president of the streets."

Our neighborhood trash bins

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